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Dolly Jacobs was born into the circus. Her mother was a top New York model and later performed with the circus. Her father was Lou Jacobs, one of the most recognized clowns of Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus. She was a part of Sailor Circus in Sarasota, a program uniquely reflective of the community's circus heritage, until the age of 14 when she started performing with Ringling Bros. 

She couldn’t help but love the circus—it was in her DNA. The circus took Jacobs around the world, making her worldrenowned. Her passion and devotion to the circus arts have also made her beloved in Sarasota.

“I feel truly blessed to be able to do what I’m most passionate about while I’m continuing the legacy of circus arts.”

Jacobs and her husband, fellow circus artist Pedro Reis, founded Circus Sarasota (today known as the Circus Arts Conservatory) in 1997, a nonprofit organization that presents professional performances and community outreach programs. In addition to the education outreach programs that integrate the circus arts into science, language arts, and theater classes and a humor therapy program that brings joy and circus arts to those in care facilities, the CAC oversees Sailor Circus, America’s longest running youth circus.

ACHIEVEMENTS

▶ AWARDED THE PRESTIGIOUS SILVER CLOWN AND LE DAME DU CIRQUE FROM THE INTERNATIONAL CIRCUS FESTIVAL OF MONTE CARLO
▶ INDUCTED INTO SARASOTA’S CIRCUS RING OF FAME, 1997
▶ RINGLING MUSEUM CIRCUS CELEBRITY AWARD, 1999
▶ FLORIDA DEPARTMENT OF STATE, FOLK HERITAGE AWARD, 2012
▶ INDUCTED INTO THE WORLD ACROBAT SOCIETY GALLERY OF LEGENDS, 2013
▶ NATIONAL COUNCIL OF JEWISH WOMEN “WOMEN IN POWER” AWARD, 2013
▶ 2015 NEA NATIONAL HERITAGE FELLOWSHIP AWARD (FIRST CIRCUS ARTIST EVER TO RECEIVE)
▶ 2015 ARTS LEADERSHIP AWARD FOR ARTISTIC ACHIEVEMENT
▶ 2016 KEY CHORALE PITCH PERFECT AWARD 
▶ 2016 SISTER CITIES ONE WORLD AWARD

The Circus Arts Conservatory

2075 BAHIA VISTA ST.
SARASOTA, FL 34239
(941) 355-9335

CircusArts.org

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